The Creaming Method for Cake Making

Learn the process of the Creaming Method for making cakes. The creaming method is the standard method used for making butter cakes. 

Butter and sugar being creamed together in a mixer

What is the Creaming Method for Cake Making?

Sometimes also called “The Conventional Method”, the creaming method for making cakes is the standard technique used for mixing butter cakes such as pound cake and coffee cake. The purpose of this method is to create an emulsion with the butter and sugar and to slowly work in the rest of the liquid ingredients in a way that will keep the emulsion stable so that the cake will have an even final crumb.

Procedure for the Creaming Method

1. Prep Your Ingredients and Equipment

Allow your butter, eggs, and any other liquid ingredients such as milk and sour cream to come to room temperature. It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature so that they will properly emulsify when you are mixing the batter.

Measure out all of your ingredients. Sift all of your dry ingredients together including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and any spices your recipe calls for. Prepare your baking pans by greasing them or lining them with parchment paper.

ingredients measured out for a cake

2. Cream the Butter and Sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and your sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes. If using a stand mixer, stop it about half way through the creaming process and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.

This process forces air to get trapped in a web of sugar and fat particles and helps make your cake rise and keeps it very light and tender.

Butter & sugar being creamed together using the creaming method

3. Add the Eggs

Add the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar mixture one at a time. After each egg is added, mix until it is completely absorbed into the mixture before adding the next one. This ensures that you will not break the emulsion you created during the creaming process. The mixture will look light and fluffy once the eggs are mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically to ensure it is mixed evenly.

If your recipe calls for any liquid extracts you would also add those at this point.

Egg being incorporated into butter/sugar mixture during creaming method

4. Alternate Adding Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients

In order to ensure that the batter will absorb the rest of your wet ingredients properly, you want to alternate adding your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients into the batter. The dry ingredients are added in 4 increments and the wet ingredients are added in 3 increments, always starting and ending with the dry ingredients. The process is as follows:

  1. With the mixer running on medium speed, start by adding about 1/4th of your dry ingredients into the batter and mix just until it is absorbed.
  2. Add about 1/3 of the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix just until it is blended in.
  3. Continue this process, adding the dry and then the wet ingredients until all of it is incorporated. You will start and end with the dry ingredients.

5. Bake the Cake

Bake the cake following the recipes instructions for temperature and time.

Pound cake made with the creaming method

Recipes that Utilize the Creaming Method

Classic Pound Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Cranberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake

Tangerine Dark Chocolate Pound Cake

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